Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Girlfriend Rimmel Beauty Insider Competition

Hi everyone!

Soooo one of my favourite magazines ever growing up was Girlfriend Mag, and they're hosting a competition as part of their Rimmel Model Search to win the chance to write a 12-month beauty column for the mag.



Entrants had to film a 2-minute makeup tutorial and upload it to YouTube, and I decided to go with a winged eyeliner with plum-shade lips.

I haven't put my lippy on yet in this snapshot :)
So, without further ado.... here's the video!

**Video Description**

"Hi everyone, I'm Jess and this is my entry to the Girlfriend Rimmel Beauty Insider Competition! 

It's a look inspired by the Autumn/Winter fashion runways; a combination of a flirty winged eye with a sophisticated plum lippy :) 

I've been reading Girlfriend since I was in primary school, and have always wanted to write for magazines, so writing beauty columns for the mag that literally taught me how to use make up when I was growing up would be amazing!!"


It's my first makeup tutorial video ever, so I apologise if there's any awkwardness haha I'm normally behind the camera! But it was so much fun to make, so I hope you enjoy the tips I shared :)

I would love to know what you think, so let me know either on this post or by sharing the love directly on my YouTube video!

Love and kisses,

Jess xxx
PS: Want to know how I did my ombre nails in the video?

Saturday, 26 May 2012

winter coat, you're mine

For those who read my winter coat post you'll know that I have been on the hunt for the perfect cold weather coat.

I've been fussy and fussing over tiny details; coats are pricey and are meant to last for at least a few years, so it had to be PERFECT, so I wouldn't get sick of it.

My diva-esque list of coat style criteria included:
  • toggle buttons
  • soft outer fabric
  • lined
  • hood
  • dress cut/flares
  • not entirely dark coloured
After hours trawling stores in both the real and virtual worlds, and trying on at least twenty coats, you'd be surprised how many do not fit that bill.

Until I found this little darling.

I had to be quick getting these shots because it was raining outside!
And suede shoes + rain don't mix!
Wandering around the racks at the Myer one-day sale today, I was initially looking for the camel version of this coat that I saw in the catalogue. Of which there was only one left, and I may have undressed a mannequin to try it on... #noshame

But, turns out it was a size 14, almost double the size I was looking for. 

After not wanting to even look at coats in colours darker than navy, I gave in and tried the same coat in black.

And what do you know. Made for each other.

It's a great mix of the a-line, cape and duffle styles, perfect for covering up this winter, but without swamping my figure. Just the right level of formal and casual so I can wear it to uni but get away with it over a dress to go out!

Mmmm. So blurry.
I can't get over how much I love this hood.
When it's buttoned up it has a slim a-line shape.
Plus, as much as I was against getting a darker coat, I can always dress it up with some colourful scarves or printed tights. I was being too fussy. I admit it, and I concede!

Coat - Design Studio, Myer
Shirt - Cue
Jeans - Jay Jays
Shoes - Tony Bianco

Today's shopping trip also saw me taking home some cosy faux-fur lined boots from Mountfords!

My mama also bought the same pair in black. She's a trendy asian lady.
So much cosiness!

What style of coat will you be wearing this winter?

Thursday, 24 May 2012

picture-perfect polish idea: ombre nails

If the world was like a black and white movie, it would be a very boring world. Classy, but very boring.

They say that if you see the world in black and white, you see things in terms of good or bad. There's no in between, which means no more white lies (that's ironic) and not much outlet for your personality.

Which is why I love a bit of colour.

<end preamble>

I really like the whole ombre hair thing, where locks begin one colour then gradually change colour down the strands.

Here's what I mean...
But as much as I love this look, I'm not quite up for trying it with my own tresses just yet. So, in search of an easier way to channel my inner rainbow, I thought,

Why not get colour happy with my nails too?

my purple ombre nails
I swear I wasn't just indecisive and couldn't choose a colour!
Sweet inspiration.
To get the ombre look for your nails, you will need five shades of nail polish all in the same colour, varying from light to dark. Great colours to try are variations of pink, blue, red, and purple.

For my nails, I chose to go with shades of purple, beginning with a deep - almost black - purple, all the way to a light lavender colour.

Sportsgirl Nail it! in GALAXY
Butter London in HRH
Living Doll in PURPLE
Base: Sportsgirl Nail it! in VIOLET
Top-coat: Sportsgirl Nail it! in NORTHERN LIGHTS
Sportsgirl Nail it! in LACE
Can't go wrong with a Cutex LONG WEAR TOP COAT 
You can probably tell that I have a bit of a thing for Sportsgirl's range of Nail It! nail polishes... I love all of their makeup range to be honest - they're not only affordable but really good quality! I also use their eyeliner, mascara, and pretty much their entire matte lipstick collection - shhh!

Would you give ombre a go? If so, what colour would you choose? Let me know in the comments below!

Friday, 18 May 2012

My Nutella frosted Banana Choc-Chip Muffins with Almonds

Okay, so these are old photos, but after watching a fortnight's worth of Masterchef Australia and working a five hour shift in a gourmet grocery store full of delicious goodies, I'm in a baked goods kind of mood. And I may or may not have just polished off a caramel macaroon all to myself. Mmm, so good...

WARNING: If you're in the mood for dessert and have a bit of a sweet tooth (I know I do), these muffins I made may make you salivate all over your computer keyboard. Don't say I didn't warn you.

I hereby present the muffins with longest name ever...

Nutella frosted Banana Choc-Chip Muffins with Almonds.

Please refrain from licking your computer screen.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I will mention that I cheated a bit in making these. Cheated in the sense that I made them from a box. Like, boxed muffin mix.


But really, we all know that some of the best things in life have just been copied and pasted with a handful of alterations. So I thank you, Betty Crocker, for providing a great muffin base that I changed around to make what I think might be even nicer than the original plain 'ol choc-chip muffins (though I admit, choc-chip is pretty hard to beat).

The muffin mix I used was Betty Crocker Chocolate Chip Muffins - 97% fat free in this case, but it won't make a difference because the Nutella will make up for it! I prepared the mix as per the instructions (I guess you'll need to buy the mix yourself to understand what I'm on about!) then added two or three super-ripe mashed up bananas. 

It's so much more fun to experiment when you're cooking, because if you make a mess/burn it/undercook it/whip cream so much it accidentally turns to butter (all of which I am guilty of at some point or another), you can just start again! 

And I always seem to be mishmashing recipes around and making stuff up; I'm the sort of person who likes to meticuloisly plan things, but go figure because I'm much more spontaneous in the kitchen (okay, okay, enough with the 1950s housewife jokes please). Sometimes messing around with something good just makes it even better.

Once I decided to add pink food dye and pretty much an entire packet of rainbow sprinkles into a batch of cupcake batter, and the results were so colourful it looked like a fairy had exploded in it. In a good - and dangerously delicious - way.

Anyway, once the muffins were ready, all it took to make them look super yummy were some generous lashings of Nutella (and I mean generous), and garnish them with chopped almonds. 

Here are some I prepared earlier - I've always wanted to say that.
Next time I think I'll toast the almonds, just to make them crunchy but they were still nice; my mum (below) obviously thought so! 

What recipes have you experimented with that ended up making the dish even better?

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Minnie Mouse Hair & Makeup Tutorials + Costume!

When you were little, who did you want to be?

An astronaut?

A ballerina?

A chef?

A teacher perhaps?

Maybe a singer?

I loved Disney, and as a kid I thought miss Minnie Mouse was simply the bee's knees.

And because I'm still a kid at heart, here is my attempt at dressing up as that cute little mouse and the look I created for a good friend's costume party...

Gaga-inspired hair bow. I think this is a super cute take on Minnie's ears!

Taken By Surprise Tutorial: The Hair Bow

1. Brush your hair up into a smooth high ponytail. The higher the better, I suggest just behind your crown, to get a big bow going.

2. Secure your ponytail with a hair tie (match the tie to your hair colour if you can), but don't thread your hair completely through the last loop of the hair tie. Your hair should look like a big bun on top of your head, with the tail of your pony hanging out over your forehead.

3. Divide your bun into two equal halves; these will be the left and right sides of your hair bow. Then, keeping each bow section separate, take the leftover tail of your pony from step 2, and bring it over the middle of the two bow sections, securing it with bobby pins at the back of the bow (if you're like me and have thick hair, enlist the help of a few bobby pins).

4. Gently (seriously not too hard or you'll have to start again!) take the bottom of your left bow section and secure it to your head with a bobby pin. This creates that curved, full shape that happens when you tie a real bow with ribbon. Repeat with the section on the right.

5. If you have fly aways strands sticking up everywhere like you've stuck your hand in an electric socket at this step (expect this if you have layered hair), put them in their place with some hair spray (naughty fly aways!!)

Taking inspiration from this photo, I made myself up with minnie-esque makeup!

Taken By Surprise Tutorial: Minnie-Inspired Dotty Eyes

1. Line the top of your eyelid with black liquid liner, flicking out at the end to create a small wing. The wing opens up your eyes, perfect for Minnie's big peepers! 
A tip: Aim the end of the flick towards the end of your eyebrow which will lift your eyes up.

2. Using a crimson red eyeshadow (avoid lighter reds as they will make you look like you've been crying - Minnie lives in the happiest place on earth, so that won't do!), apply over the entire eyelid, and half a centimetre over the eyebrow. 

3. Dab the eyeshadow brush into white eye shadow to get as much pigment on the brush as possible. Press the brush onto the red area to create white spots (about five spots per eye), in homage to Minnie's spotted dress. 

4. Curl eyelashes using an eyelash curler and apply mascara in a shimmying motion to avoid clumps. Allow a minute to dry then apply another coat.

5. Using a black face crayon (found in face paint sets - you can also use black pencil eyeliner), draw a rounded triangle on the tip of your nose. Already looking adorable!

6.  Now for Minnie's big smile! Using the face crayon, draw a line beginning from the corner of your lips that curves towards the apple of your cheek. At the end of the curved line, draw dimples.

7. With your favourite red lipstick (I love Sportsgirl's Pout About It! in Bombshell) apply one layer over your lips. Pat your lips with a tissue, then reapply (this maximises the staying power of your lipstick - trust me!).

Here's the final look!

My costume was made up of:
  1. A three quarter sleeve black top
  2. A black and white bow that I pinned to the neckline of the top
  3. A puffy red skirt - I made my own using an old floor length skirt I had lying around and gathering the hem, but I'm sure you could use any red skirt you like.
  4. A skinny black belt
  5. Black tights/stockings
  6. Yellow shoes - heels, flats, boots, it's up to you :)
Who is your favourite Disney character? If you try the hair or makeup, I'd love to see a photo! Leave a comment or tweet me at @hi_JLY.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

the winter coat post

I need a coat.

And not just any coat – I want a coat with the lot, the whole shebang. Warm, yes. Dress cut, yes. Soft on the outside, and smooth on the inside, like a melted chocolate Lindt ball of warmth.

You see, the winter chill has decided to hit town a tad early and rendered most of my optimistic transseasonal wardrobe of cute dresses and tights combos useless without a pretty little wrap.

Layering has hit a whole new level; think Rachel Berry from Glee.

wet paint
One day I left the house wearing a dress, a cardigan, a flannelette shirt, and a jacket. And when you go back inside a cosy room and start the delayering process, you start unwrapping yourself like a pass-the-parcel. The back of my chair can only hold so many items of clothing.

So, I’m on the hunt for a winter coat. I’m thinking something warm (der Einstein), lined, with those cute toggle buttons, and a hood. And not black. There’s enough of dark colored apparel wandering around in winter as it is.

With my shiny new debit card having arrived in the mail and in my hot little hands, the entire cyberspace of online shopping has opened up to me, and I can hear that song from Aladdin in my head… A whole new world, a dazzling place I never knew… !!

And now I’m in love with a handful of snug items, and the favourites bar of my Internet browser is choc-full of clothes that I can’t afford, but would really really like (hinthint). 
Forever New
Sylvie Wool Blend Coat
Forever New
Rhianna Velvet Trim Coat
Forever New
Lili Double Breasted Coat

Gloucester Duffle #2
Princess Highway
Luella Coat
Augustina Coat
So in the meantime while I save my pretty little pennies, I’ll be warming up with Venti-sized green tea lattes, and so many scarves that I'm beginning to look like the crazy pigeon lady that every major city has. And let’s not forget the novelty beanie. I do love me a novelty beanie.

Which is your favourite of these coats? I'm having trouble choosing, so leave a comment!
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